Family Heartbroken After Highway Memorial Was Removed Without Notice

FARMINGTON (KFSM) -- After four and a half years a cross memorial on Highway 62 in Farmington was recently removed.

"I just want it to be back, I want it put back there," said 7-year-old Colton Workman. He noticed his father's cross was gone and quickly told his mother.

Twenty-six-year-old Lewis Workman was killed in an accident with a semi-truck in 2013.  Following the accident his family put a cross on the side of the highway as a memorial. They take turns painting and decorating it throughout the year.

"My children look at that as a place to remember where Lewis went to heaven, where he left this earth ... they look for it every time we drive by,"  said mother and widow Brittany Huffaker.

Huffaker was unaware of the state statute that prohibits signage of any kind on the highway right of way. She was told that the law had been in place for decades.

"There's a statute on the books that basically says the right of way shall remain invalid which basically means that you can't put things into the highway right of way," said ArDOT Spokesman Danny Straessle.

Straessle did mention a slight exception for memorials, but it is time sensitive.  "If the accident just happened and a memorial does go up this particular district allows at least seven days for it to be there and then it's gonna' have to be taken down."

Moving forward, Huffaker plans to contact state legislators to see if there are any possible amendments. But, if all fails she said she hopes to see one thing from the state department. "A little more compassion and contact the family if they're gonna' remove it."